This obituary was prepared by her family who has given permission to publish here.
Trudell Elaine Een, 60, passed away with grace and peace at home with her family in San Jose, CA on Thursday, August 5th, 2010.
Trudell was born to Lawrence and Elaine Een on February 2, 1950 in Mankato, MN. She held her own among six brothers, bringing a mixture of warmth and spunk to their Minnesota farm house. She graduated from Owatonna High School in 1968 and matriculated in Architecture and in Art History at the University of Minnesota. While working at the International Student House to pay her way through college, she met Amine Hajji, a Moroccan graduate student. That chance encounter blossomed into a loving relationship and the pair pronounced their "I do's" on January 1, 1975, a date that marked the beginning of a thirty five year odyssey of love, partnership, and friendship.
After earning her degrees in 1977, Trudell became a construction manager for multi-million dollar projects ranging from multiple-unit housing to a skyway in downtown Minneapolis. She designed and built their family home in Cannon Falls, Minnesota just in time to welcome her first child, Omar, in 1984; two years later, daughter Soraya joined the family. To her children she was a patient coach and loyal fan, but most of all a ready friend who shared in their fun, listened to their problems, and encouraged them to pursue their passions to the fullest.
With the arrival of her children she also shifted her energy from the corporate world into the world of her family and community, choosing to remain at home and volunteer her time with the Minnesota League of Women Voters. She served on their Board of Directors, on the Executive Committee and as President of the LWV of Cannon Falls. In 1989 she won a state grant to begin a recycling pilot program for her township, creatively enlisting students as advocates to gain community-wide acceptance. The pilot's success led to rural Minnesota's first permanent recycling program.
Trudell moved to San Jose with her family in 1994, preceded by her reputation as a leader and a consensus builder. In 1996 she became President of the LWV of San Jose/Santa Clara and a founder of SmartVoter.org, a one-stop source for voter information online. As Project Director, she championed the use of the website to support elections and oversaw its expansion from two counties in Silicon Valley to twenty five counties across California and several more in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Smart Voter won international recognition as a Stockholm Challenge finalist in 1999 and again in 2002; a year later it became a laureate of the Knight Ridder Equality Award which Trudell accepted from CEO Tony Ridder at a Tech Museum Awards gala attended by Silicon Valley business leaders and delegates from the United Nations. Trudell received a Women of Achievement Award from The Women's Fund in 2001 for her key role in the success of Smart Voter. In 2009 she was honored at the LWV San Jose/Santa Clara Spring Luncheon where she received an Excellence Award from her peers and was presented with a commemorative plaque in recognition of her outstanding service to the League and San Jose by Mayor Chuck Reed.
Trudell's later years were marked by a long and difficult battle with cancer, which she faced with the courage, devotion, and resilient joy that defined her life. In her final years and months, she found the strength to attend her children's graduation ceremonies from UCLA and Brown University; joined family celebrations in Florida, Morocco, France, and Finland; and completed a life's-first trip to Yosemite National Park with her husband and close friends. Her family remains ever grateful for the outpouring of love from friends and family which supported her and them throughout these final years, filling her last memories with a tenderness that she cherished.
Trudell is survived by her husband, Mohammed Amine Hajji; son Omar Een Hajji; daughter Soraya Een Hajji; brothers and their spouses: David and Theresa, Norbert, Daniel and Yvette, and Terrence and Cynthia; sister-in-law Christine and Lane Hobbs; stepmother Gertrude Een; nephews Eric and David; and nieces Jennifer, Sara, Emily, Elizabeth, and Erin. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence and Elaine, brothers Richard and Nathan, Norbert's wife Ann, Daniel's first wife Beverly, and her parents-in-law Abdelkrim Hajji and Khadija Slimani.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Trudell at the Chapel of Roses at the Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose, on August 28th, from 10:00 to 11:30AM followed by a lunch reception. For those who want to honor her memory with a donation, please consider contributing to the Trudell Een Legacy Fund at www.smartvoter.org/trudell.